The latest strategic alliance between automakers and/or suppliers was announced yesterday by Volvo, which will partner with Siemens to create electric mobility designs.
The partnership between the two companies follows on the heels of last week’s announcement to collaborate on electric mobility projects between Toyota and Ford, as well as GM and LG Group.
The Volvo/Siemens collaboration intends to jointly develop electric drive technology, power electronics and charging technology initially for Volvo C30 Electric vehicles and other subsequent models.
Volvo said Siemens-motor-equipped prototypes will be on the test track before the end of 2011. In late 2012 Volvo said it will deliver 200 cars to Siemens for real-world testing and validation in Siemens’ internal test fleet.
Both companies are “perfectly matched” with complementary core competencies, Volvo said. The agreement is being presented – as others automakers’ deals have been – as win win. Siemens will get a feather in its cap for advancing its reputation in electric mobility solutions, and Volvo will get Siemens’ hardware and expertise in return.
“We are very happy to have Siemens as a partner. Their world-leading knowledge and experience will bring the technology in our electric cars up to an entirely new level,” said Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation. “We are moving ahead quickly in this area. Our aim is to be first with the latest technology within electrification. The partnership reinforces our aim to pursue the fast-growing market for electric cars.”
Although lately there have been various reports of consumer interest trailing off, and bearish projections for lower percentages of battery powered cars by the end of the decade, Volvo and Siemens are having none of that rhetoric.
Siemens said the “key technologies” of electric powertrain, battery management and charging technologies will continue to be researched and developed for not-too-distant future Volvo cars.
“Cooperation with Volvo is an important milestone in the development of top-quality components and systems for electric cars subsequently intended for series production,” said Siegfried Russwurm, Siemens Board member and CEO of the Siemens Industry Sector. “It is our long-term goal to establish Siemens as a global system provider both inside and outside of electric vehicles. We see ourselves as a comprehensive electric mobility pioneer.”
The electric motors developed for Volvo by Siemens are said to deliver 108 kilowatts (145 horsepower) at their peak, with maximum torque being 220 Newton meters (162 pound-feet).
Both companies will work to optimize the vehicles’ inverter design for automotive safety requirements. “Highly efficient and fast” charging systems – both on-board and off-board – will be designed by Siemens.
Volvo said a series production car should be expected first with “small-scale” production of the Volvo C30 Electric this year. In 2012, the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is also expected.
“This means that we are moving from prototypes and small volumes towards series production, starting with the plug-in hybrid. Our upcoming new Scalable Platform Architecture paves the way for electrification throughout our model range,” said Jacoby.
No word on pricing was given.